Sunday, January 9, 2011

of chocolate and candy; and everything yummy

Dang. I’m hungry.

That has absolutely nothing to do with this post. Not entirely. I told the class the other day a story of chocolate and candy and everything yummy.  

The house! The house! I see the house! *hungry*
I told them Hansel and Gretel. Haha! XD

The reason I chose this story: I was hungry. Point blank. Ha! No offence to Brothers Grimm, but it is for a fact that I was indeed hungry when we were assigned this story-sharing task. And it so happened that this was the only story I could think of that contains food (at that moment). It is not however, my favourite children story. In fact, it is a least favourite. I’ll tell you why.

Though sporting a happy ending, something about this story gives me the creeps. Imagine a wicked stepmother. Then imagine getting lost in the deep dark woods. Next, imagine a cannibalistic witch. Finally, imagine a burning body in the oven. Tell me this is not going to give you nightmares. Rather than a children’s story, I honestly think this qualifies more for a horror film. However, that is of course coming from a casual reader’s point of view.

From a literary perspective, I find these are the elements worth noting. The storyline and characters, though dark and grim, brings about an interesting blend of fear and excitement. Not unlike most stories involving wicked stepmothers and witches, this story taps into the fear of every child. It keeps children in the suspense of their fears for the two children mentioned in the story. However, this suspense takes a halt when a house of candy and confectionary comes into picture. This imagination relieves children of their fear and brings them instead into a world of pleasure and fantasy. Then again, this fear is immediately brought back into the frame with the reveal of the witch. While most stories would keep it constant, Hansel and Gretel cleverly weaves this fear and develops it to reach greater emotional effectiveness. It captures children’s attention towards the end of the story with a faster pace of horror that threatens to kill. At its peak, the story comes to a joyous end. For a young child to experience this intense horror and joy all at once, I dare say would be quite a ride. Nonetheless, this story promotes much value of courage and wits.

All of us, as a child once, surely aspired to be heard, to be looked-up upon to the extent of being heroic. In the case of Hansel and Gretel, the storyline captures this aspiration and makes it a dream come true. Gretel, a girl, being the weaker of two genders, is portrayed as a heroine who saved his brother from the wicked witch. Hansel, on the other hand, is granted the wits to outsmart their stepmother who sent them away. In one way or another, this is a message to children that even as a child, they’re capable of many things. To the adults, there is a Robin Hood, if not an Einstein in every child.

Like I’ve said earlier, this sounds more like a horror film than a bedtime story. I still believe so despite all that I’ve said. Hence, if I were a parent reading this story, I might prefer to do it to an older child, say that of 8 and above. It would also help a great deal in comforting the horror if the story is accompanied with its values when told. At least, that’s what I believe would be appropriate with this story.

I must’ve made this post very eerie. I just felt a chill. But trust me, if I were to tell a children story again, I would still stick to this. It’s a story that’s one of its kind. If accompanied with great illustrations, it's a definite feast for the eyes!

chocolate and candy~ chocolate and candy~ chocolate and candy~

That's it. I'm off to eat. 

~and everything yummy~ :D

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